Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Review ~ The Hole In Our Gospel

Hardly ever can I remember a time when a book, two hundred seventy nine pages to be exact, has had such a profound impact on my life. As a matter of fact, this book has pretty much rocked my world.

When I saw this title come up on the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers page, I knew this was one book that I wanted to read.

From the first moment that I cracked open the book my heart was captivated by the story of how this man, Richard Stearns, felt the call of God on his life, how he tried to ignore it, runaway from it and then finally accept that God had chosen him for such a time as this.

I have to admit something though...this is not something that I would typically read. As a matter of fact, I think I have even mentioned that I tend to read books that are the "happy, happy, joy, joy" variety, but since I am trying to get out of my own "box" I felt this would be a great way to reach farther outside my comfort zone.

Boy, it has not let me down. I've been captivated by the plight of world as a whole. These are things that I probably "knew" somewhere deep down or was at least aware of, but it hasn't been until I started to read this book that I was jolted from my comfortable Christian life to see that there is certainly a "Hole in Our Gospel".

Every since I started reading this book I have been telling everyone and anyone around me that they have to pick up a copy of this book. Not because I get a single thing from it, but because rarely have I found a book that can radically transform how you view what's going on in the world around us.

This should be required reading for anyone who says they are a Christian and wants to find out about their calling, about how God cares for others, and how we can put hands and feet on our faith.

Here is what it says on the back of the book;

"Preach the Gospel always. Use words if necessary." - St. Francis of Assisi

It's 1998 and Richard Stearns' heart is breaking as he sits in a mud hut and listens to the story of an orphaned child in Rakai, Uganda. His journey to this place took more than a long flight from the United States to Africa. It took answering God's call on his life, a call that hurtled him out of his presidential corner office at Lenox-America's finest tableware company-to this humble corner of Uganda.

This is a story of how a corporate CEO faced his own struggle to obey God whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Using his own journey as an example, Stearns explores the hole that exists in our understanding of the Gospel.

Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world. Stearns believes it can happen again.

This book is a MUST have for every single person I know!

I'd love to hear your thoughts;
1) if you have already read it,
2) if you are thinking of picking up a copy.

Seeking JOY on the Journey,

Disclaimer - I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Book Reviewers, but the opinions expressed are mine.

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5 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Kelly S. 12:50 PM  

Thanks for the great review! I love to read and will definitley look for this book!

Sarah Caldwell 10:56 AM  

It's sad that Ron Sider,Jim Wallis, and Tony Campolo have talked about this hole. Dorothy Day and Clarence Jordan in their day talked about it, too. We always found a reason to dismiss them: she was Catholic, he's "too liberal." Perhaps Stearns can get past the greed which has hardened our hearts.

Tamara 2:54 PM  

I picked up the book from B&N about two weeks before Christmas and I believe I have been in kind of a stupor since then. Not complaining. I felt these things as I was going to Church and participating on Church Councils and felt the hole, but felt overwhelmed by the continuing concerns of that particular church to continue despite financial problems. I did not see serious energy in the people to do outreach when they were so financially defeated. I think they were more spiritually defeated.

When we become so concerned about putting a new roof on the building missions go out the window. I think we put our money into big impressive buildings, when something smaller would do.
An impressive building can create the hole more than fill it.

These are only my own views.

I find that I am telling people about this book. I will do more to help fill the hole.

Firefly 1:46 AM  

I tend to cheerfully label myself as a "starving college student," alluding to my lack of income and debt. Reading this got me thinking about some fantastic blessings in my life - that God didn't just give me more clothes than I need and a safe place to sleep because He likes me. With everything I've been given, I started thinking - how much can I give? I might not be able to cut it down to living off of $2 a day (I'd like to), but if I could survive off of $5 a day, and give everything else I've earned to saving someone else's life....what could God do with that?

Karen B. 5:26 PM  

I have felt a discomfort with Christianity -- almost an embarrassment over the years. (And that is extended even to myself.) We should be doing more! We should be reaching out and being the hands & feet of Christ to the poverty-stricken. We have been so distracted by our own lives that we've failed to see clearly our Christian responsibility to all God's children who suffer in this world. We've disengaged our sensitivities and compassion, and we've handily "left it in God's hands." But, we ARE His hands. This books has moved me! With God's help, I'm going to do something about it. We all can!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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